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Flour Milling (Phoenix Mill)

Address:
104 Platt St
Rochester, NY 14614, US

Category: Historic Site

Used in the following map:

Rochester Labor History eMap

In the second quarter of the 19th century, the Genesee Valley was the breadbasket of America's eastern seaboard and Rochester was known as the Flour City. Grain grown in the valley was brought by boat to Rochester where it was made into flour in mills powered by the river and then shipped east in barges on the Erie Canal, which opened in 1825. Rochester's earliest mill was built in 1789; by 1835 there were four mill races and 21 mills. Between 1826 and 1833 flour output doubled to 300,000 barrels; by the late 1830s 500,000 barrels a year were being milled and shipped from Rochester. (This created a demand for boat-building, cooperage and other ancillary trades.) As grain production shifted to the plains states and railroad transportation outstripped canals, Rochester's economy came to depend increasingly on manufacture. By 1909, there were only nine flour mills employing 152 workers. The last flour mill closed in 1937.



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